Germany Set to Keep 7 Nuclear Plants Shut

BERLIN -- Germany is set to shut down its seven oldest nuclear reactors permanently after federal and regional environment ministers agreed on the move.

The seven reactors built before 1980 -- out of a total 17 in Germany -- were taken off the grid for three months following Japan's Fukushima disaster pending a safety review.

News agency DAPD reported that federal Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen and counterparts from Germany's 16 states on Friday agreed to the permanent shutdown of the old reactors.

They account for about 40 percent of the country's nuclear power capacity -- which in turn makes up a bit less than a quarter of Germany's energy mix.

The government is to determine early next month when Germany's last reactor is to be taken off the grid, possibly in about a decade.